Sabitzer injury issue confirmed

Monday 27 March 2023 11:02

Manchester United midfielder Marcel Sabitzer has a knee problem, according to Austria coach Ralf Rangnick.

The Reds' former interim manager spoke at a press conference to preview the country's second European Championship qualifier, which takes place against Estonia in Linz on Monday night.

Sabitzer was withdrawn towards the end of the 4-1 win over Azerbaijan, after scoring twice and also providing an assist, when proudly wearing the captain's armband.

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Both Sabitzer and defender Gernot Trauner were forced out of the final training session before the qualifier, with Rangnick revealing they suffered knocks.

"In the end, it is a question of pain and pain tolerance for both Marcel and Gernot," he said. "Of course, we hope that Marcel will do well, especially after that first game in Linz. At the moment, I'm optimistic that it can work but, at the end of the day, it's also a question of whether Marcel feels ready for it himself. At the moment, I am assuming he'll play.

"It made more sense to leave them out [of the session] again, just to give them one more day. But there are enough other candidates."

Marcel has been suffering knee pain but it certainly did not affect his performance in Saturday's triumph.

"Sabi's performance was outstanding," said Rangnick to Laola 1. "You can't say it any other way. He is simply a player with a lot of quality. I think the change [move] did him good. He is literally flourishing, which is very, very good. He has a lot more confidence than when he was at Bayern Munich."

United fans will be carefully monitoring developments as Sabitzer is likely to be a vital option in the coming games. The loanee scored his first goal for the club with a deft flick in the Emirates FA Cup win over Fulham and, with Casemiro still suspended, he is an obvious candidate to help fill the void left by the Brazilian's absence.

Casemiro, who scored in Brazil's defeat to Morocco over the weekend, serves the second of his four-game ban in Sunday's big return to Premier League action, away to fellow top-four hopefuls Newcastle United.

Marcel returned to action in the 1-0 win at Real Betis after being sidelined for the home leg and the 0-0 draw with Southampton.